Posts tagged ‘Christmas’

Christmas in more detail

A few days of housework and wage-slavery have brought me back down from the rather emotionally-charged Christmas period. Thieving scumbags took Scientist Boyfriend’s family jewellery, which is horrid, but everything else was just stuff which can be replaced (or which we can do without), and it’s more the thought of big stompy burglar men leaving mud all over our carpets and rifling through my underwear drawer that upsets me. The forensic people came round, but there wasn’t anything they could get prints off, but they’re hoping to get more next door as they had to break a window to get in there. *fumes*

Other than that, though, Christmas was lovely, despite fearing permanent damage to my stomach lining from the enormous quantities of sparkling wine consumed. We were up with my parents in Northumberland for most of the time, eating vast amounts of yummy things, sandwiched between a couple of days with Scientist Boyfriend’s family, eating vast amounts of yummy things, and my Granny’s 80th birthday, where yet more yummy things were consumed in excess. (I have since been rather enthusiastic about brown rice and fresh vegetables. It’s all about balance, I suppose.) Despite a small accident with the marzipan (always read the recipe, don’t just guess!) my cakes were very successful, if rustic-looking, and much appreciated by my dad’s shooting buddies. (Scientist Boyfriend has been telling everyone since we got home about the two exciting things that happened to him over Christmas: ‘Well, Hamster and I got engaged….. AND, I shot a pheasant!!!’) I am now the proud owner of many decadent foodie things, a veritable cornucopia of fancy teas and an ergonomic hoe. Hoe hoe hoe.

I knitted the dalek. He was finished at 3 a.m. in the morning the day before midnight mass (‘Oh, just one more round, then I’ll go to sleep. Ooh, only 10 more to go now…’) I am rather proud of him, if I say so myself.

Knitted dalek

Knitted dalek

And now we have to plan a wedding. But we have until April or June 2010, and I’m determined not to become one of those neurotic women who gets slightly loopy and self-absorbed over it all. We’ve picked an area of the country, and will do exact date and venue once I’ve heard if I’ve got onto this course, and then I am not going to stress. I still have this crazy idea I can make my own dress, although I presume at some point in the next 18 months my mother will force me to see reason, as I haven’t even succeeded in making those sodding curtains without falling out with my sewing machine. Quite why I think I’ll be able to turn delicate fabrics into something that will be extensively photographed is a mystery to me as well. If I could knit it, I’d probably be all right but… well, I’m really rather conventional in terms of taste, if not of politics. Ah well, I suppose I’ll come into my own when all my friends start having babies….

Ooh, and I’m going to see Vandana Shiva on the 27th!! Yay!!

January 6, 2009 at 10:24 pm 6 comments

“An affirming flame”

Or, an affirming dalek.

After last year’s gloom I decided to come up with five positive actions that would make me feel better. These were:

1) Take a dressmaking course, and learn how get more use out of my beautiful Singer treadle machine than just as a really nice table.

More or less done. I did the course and have managed to do things with the sewing machine. I could have done more, but I’ll still tick this one off.

2) Do something with the piles of scavenged curtains we have lying around to make my house warmer and more efficient. (Possibly contingent on the above!) Nag bf to put up curtain rails and get second draught-excluder for the back door.

I don’t know that ‘make one curtain then swear lots and give up’ really counts. Nope. Hmm. I got a draught-excluder, though.

3) Grow something (other than herbs) that actually gets big enough to eat, unlike my winter spinach which is still alive, but not getting any bigger due to the cold.

Yep, this one gets a big tick. The container garden was a success. The weather was crap, but that was not my fault.

4) Try and find some people in my area who are interested in these sorts of things, so I don’t conduct my social life entirely over the internet. Have been meaning to go to my local FOE group or Green Drinks since I moved, and never got a round tuit…

I have joined FOE and become their finance co-ordinator. Never made it to Green Drinks, but I did make it to a nearby Transition Towns meeting. I also got to know the nice lady who has hens and a fab organic garden better, but she moved to Ireland. *sigh* Tick!

And, more prosaically, 5) get a bit better at my job, so it takes me less time and I have more time to knit and garden!

Well, this one was so successful they employed me full-time, which means I actually have less time to knit and garden now. So tick as it stands, but not in the overall scheme of things. I have now officially applied for the MA (form sent off) and am planning to Wwoof over the summer to get my head back in a place where I actually enjoy things.

And in the mean-time? I was rather depressed at buying all my Christmas presents, which was demonstrably less fun than last year’s mittens-knitting-last-minute-panic (no, that’s not sarcastic, I mean it!!) instead of making them. I remembered having wanted to knit my brother a dalek. I can’t think what to get him, so I’m going to damn well get some wool and make the boy a dalek. Can I knit a dalek in 20 days?

I don’t care. If I can’t, he can have an Amazon voucher for Christmas and a dalek for his birthday in January! 😉

And, in other good news, the decision on Heathrow has been delayed, which gives me the teensiest, teensiest sliver of hope that common sense might just prevail… just…

December 5, 2008 at 9:16 pm 2 comments

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August 2020
The Heritage Crafts Network

Rob Hopkins, Transition Handbook

“Environmentalists have often been guilty of presenting people with a mental image of the world’s least desirable holiday destination – some seedy bed and breakfast near Torquay, with nylon sheets, cold tea and soggy toast – and expecting them to get excited about the prospect of NOT going there. The logic and the psychology are all wrong.”

Barbara Kingsolver, Animal, Vegetable, Miracle

"Food is that rare moral arena in which the ethical choice is generally the one more likely to make you groan with pleasure."

Carlo Petrini

"A gastronome who is not also an environmentalist is an idiot. An environmentalist who is not also a gastronome is, well, sad."

Sharon Astyk

"I am, of course, firmly opposed to consumerism and corporatism in all its forms, and I believe that we are deeply confused about material needs and wants. Now let me explain how books and yarn are totally different than the material things that other people want ;-)…."

Raj Patel, at Slow Food Nation

"Biofuels, which is the preposterous policy that we should grow food not to eat it but to set it on fire."